Originally Posted by criminal
I agree that if Vega can only compete with the 1080, Titan P will be the only choice available as an upgrade path for 980Ti owners unless they want to wait for Volta. Why waste chips on a 1080ti, when you can get so much more from the chips selling them as Titans?
I agree that an "affordable" GP100/102 will not be released if Vega isn't competitive but there is more to optimizing profit than pricing one product through the roof because you do not have strong competition. The x80Ti seems to be a strong brand at this point, probably even stronger than Titan due to the 980Ti, no reason not to capitalize on it.
Think of price v.s. demand curves, you want to maximize your profit which means picking the optimal point on the price/demand curve. Having multiple products allows you to cover multiple points on the curve. This also allows you to increase the top price point at lot, well above what would be optimal given only one product. All they need is something to differentiate the higher price points enough that not too many people who would have paid more get the cheaper version.
HBM2 might do it, a 12GB HBM2 Titan at $1400, a 16GB one at $2000, and a 12GB GDDR5X 1080Ti at $999 might offer Nvidia higher profits than simply trying to sell the two Titans for $1200 and $1500.
It is hard to know, I don't have a lot of good market research data on GPUs, but it really isn't as simple as "AMD has nothing near this performance so we will just sell this one for a lot".
Intel still releases the cheap version of their -E line. Why doesn't Intel only sell the 6950X since AMD doesn't have anything to compete at the high end? The 1080 is the 6700K and a theoretical 1080Ti would be the 6800K/6850K.